KTM one-two in thrilling Dakar Rally finish

One of the most thrilling finishes saw KTM’s off-road dominance secure its 19th victory in this year’s Dakar Rally – the world’s toughest rally-raid.

Kevin Benavides piled on the power over the final stages to snatch his second win in the legendary rally by just 43 seconds from his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team mate Toby Price.

They had raced 8,000km in Saudi Arabia for more than 44 hours, on 14 stages over the first two weeks of January, before Argentinian Benavides beat Aussie Price on the final stage to lead home a KTM one-two.

Running flat out to the finish on their KTM 450 Rally motorbikes, Benavides put in an incredible performance on the final day for his second consecutive stage win and overall victory.

Fellow Red Bull KTM rider Austrian Matthias Walkner crashed out on stage 13, having started out ninth, while battling to improve on his position.

On a dramatic day in the desert for Red Bull KTM, Benavides won stage 13 to move within 12 seconds of rally leader Price. He had started the stage third, nearly three minutes behind.

Dakar Rally fan Dave Willis followed the action with the daily highlights.

“Kevin Benavides won it on the last day – it was the closest Dakar Rally for years. It was very exciting.

“It was a great test for the KTMs and great advertising for what the brand is capable of.”

KTM’s last Dakar Rally victory was in 2019 having won it every year since 2001, apart from 2008 when it was cancelled the day before the start due to safety concerns in Mauritania and fears over a possible terrorist attack.

[Photo credit: Rally Zone]